September 2000 page 1 of 2
Friday 1 September

Dan busted his ankle again in a fall tonight, so he was soaking it in a bucket of ice water. Actually, he'd transferred from one bucket to a bigger one. Damian saw the water and got a bright idea. He went zooming off to the bathroom, came back with a bathtub toy, and wanted to drop it in. We let him use the secondary bucket. He had a grand old time zipping back and forth between bathroom and living room with toys to drop into the bucket. We did draw the line at books, though. Dan explained that books aren't very happy when they're wet.

Saturday 2 September

We tried a new Mommy and Me class this morning. Half our playgroup -- all the core members -- were going, so I figured why not? And it's attached to a well respected local Montessori preschool. I have more thoughts on this, but I'll probably put them into a full fledged journal entry sometime soon. At any rate, Damian enjoyed it. He wasn't shy at all when we came in, just started exploring the space and the toys. And later, when it was cleanup time and the teacher said to put everything away, I told Damian to put the plastic animals back in the basket -- and he did. One by one, with great care. We'll have to try that at home...

The actual group-activity time was a bit less successful. Damian got restless, wanted to go outside (the back yard with slides and toy cars was tantalizingly just beyond the windows of the play area). But he got into the whole idea of putting his finger in the air and on his nose. And of stomping around in the circle. He didn't much like the little beanbag, kept trying to ditch it, but when she started singing and everyone was shaking their beanbags, Damian delighted in shaking his beanbag too. It's a five week course, it'll be interesting to see how much he picks up on successive visits. It's hard to go from an almost completely unstructured life to such a specific structure as one of these classes. That's why Mommy's along, I guess.

This afternoon out of nowhere Damian started talking about "forty cats and one big cat." Then he upped it to "fifty cats." He's been into counting lately, numbers fascinate, but I can only guess at his thoughts at that moment.

His dexterity is growing -- he scooped a mound of tuna salad onto a grownup sized fork and maneuvered it to his mouth without dropping a single scrap.

I have to watch my water glass with a hawk's eye these days. I left the living room briefly and came back to find half a dozen cough drops melting in the bottom of my glass. My water-with-a-slice-of-lemon had turned into water-with-lemon-and-Ricolas.

Sunday 3 September

I brought Damian to the farmer's market this morning. I was worried because he's gotten irritable about being removed from the car, and because he's been riding in the back carrier on Dan's back lately at the market. I used the stroller since I was solo today. I brought his kiddie boom box and he did just fine. Until I tried to turn it off, so I turned it back on. Got some smiles at the music, and one farmer said he'd been looking around trying to figure out where the music came from until he realized...

House hunting this afternoon. We stood outside the house in question, talking to the realtor. Damian took off running down the block, all happy. The realtor took off after him, brought him back swinging upside down. The guy is young, doesn't have kids, but boy was he great with Damian. Damian liked him so much, he ran off to repeat the whole endeavor.

Dinner: linguini in tomato sauce. Damian ate the tomatoes out of it and then started nodding off in his high chair. Lurched forward, almost plopping his face into the pasta, caught himself. Lurched again... time for bed.

Monday 4 September

Labor Day BBQ at Diane's. Damian spent most of the time everywhere but at the party. Wandering in back, wandering down the street, racing back and forth across the deck... When I walked with him down the steps, I was holding a brownie. He took it from me, nibbled on it. Gave it back. I said "that's a brownie, Damian." He said, "Brownie. Bumblebee." They do sound similar.

Today was word play day. Tonight he perused a picture book of animals while I was changing his diaper. He said "hippy-potty-moose" for hippopotamus.

Tuesday 5 September

Damian was looking at a Berenstain Bears book from the library tonight and said "goodnight bears, goodnight chairs." Uh, wrong book, kiddo.

He's got a cold -- woke himself up coughing at 12:30 am, came into bed, tossed and turned all night. Ugh. Runny nose most of the day, but he was surprisingly chipper nonetheless. Not too many words today, he mostly got what he wanted by leading me where he wanted me to go, or leading my hands. He finished drinking his juice and wanted me to take it, so he took my hand and wrapped it around the juice bottle.

Wednesday 6 September

When Damian rides his rocking horse, I say "ride 'em, cowboy!" and he says "I could be a cowboy, I could go to the moon." Not as odd as it sounds, he's quoting a Berenstain Bears book (I think it's called He and She, I took it out of the library last month).

He rediscovered crayons this morning. Had a blast scribbling with both crayons and markers. He'd draw with one and fairly quickly want to switch colors. Couldn't quite get markers the last time he tried them, some months back. Now he got them with a vengeance. Nice to see. He also used to only draw on pages where something was already drawn (I had to draw a cat or moon or car before he would venture to make his mark). Now he draws on blank pages with abandon, occasionally saying "Harold and the purple crayon." Well, when he's got a purple crayon in his mitt.

This evening we were stuck in traffic that was moving at a slow crawl. Damian, from out of nowhere, said "squish squash snail car." (From Miss Spider's New Car). An exceedingly appropriate quote.

Thursday 7 September

A new game, fun for the whole family: Damian gets behind me and pushes me where he wants me to go. Which is usually around and around the house in a circle. I am apparently a human version of a push-toy.

His first pun? Tonight while he was bouncing around in his crib (is he going to miss that crib when his bed comes in a few weeks?), he was tossing around a stuffed fish. Salmon, to be exact. And said: "salmon let me be." ("Sam, you let me be", from Green Eggs and Ham.)

Friday 8 September

Damian's got a cold again. This means he can't go to sleep nursing the way he wants to. He tries, but can't breathe. It's a dilemma. We've been rocking and sometimes that works, but more often it doesn't. He's been staying up very very late.

This morning, his nose was running again. I wiped with a tissue and then, just for grins, said "blow into the tissue." He obliged. For a minute, I felt like I had a four year old. Until I asked him to do it again later and he acted like he didn't know what I was talking about. Then I remembered. He's most certainly a two year old.

Saturday 9 September

He's starting to narrate his life. Today as I went to take him out of his carseat, he said "go up with Mommy." That's just one example, I feel like there are better. But he's definitely doing it.

This morning Damian was declaiming, quoting a book or just some speech from his imagination. It was dramatic, emotional, intense. Well, okay, not emotional, but it sure felt like a performance. He got a brilliant idea: the mirror! So he got to watch himself in action. It was definitely a performance.

An interesting new habit: Damian eats soap bubbles. Scoops them up with his hand and sucks them in. At least the bubble bath is from the health food store. But still. Gives a new meaning to washing his mouth out with soap.

Sunday 10 September

Damian unsnapped and unzipped his shorts, then came to find me. He wanted his diaper changed. At this rate, he'll be able to change it himself soon. Something tells me toilet training isn't too far away.

Other developments -- he's down to two to three nursings a day. To wake up in the morning, at naptime, and to fall asleep at night. But when it doesn't work, Daddy rocks him. And that sometimes does the trick. He can fall asleep without nursing for his nap if I'm not available but if I am, he drags the Boppy out from the bedroom, hauling it all the way to the living room and the armchair. But I am starting to think we will wean. Maybe even soonish. It's starting to feel possible now, which it never has before.

Monday 11 September

As I mention in this entry, Damian conked out sitting up on the couch. That was his nap today. Easy as pie.

I was changing his diaper tonight and explaining about how he'll start peeing in the potty soon. He got down off the changing table and ran into the bathroom to investigate this intriguing concept. I brought out the potty and said he could sit on it to pee. He promptly sat down on it. But he insisted on closing the lid first. Which is fine, because he was fully clothed at the time, but may be somewhat more problematic whenwe do toilet train. Still, the last time I explained it, he seemed completely disinterested and categorically refused to sit on the potty at all. So he's approaching readiness. Not that I'm in a hurry.

Tuesday 12 September

Trick du jour: I get down on all fours. Damian crawls under my torso and says "here in the dark". (from Green Eggs and Ham.) He's also become fond of running between your legs while you make a tunnel for him.

Jami was with Damian this afternoon and they sounded ensconced, so when I was ready to leave for dinner out, I thought I should just go. After all, we were already apart. Bad move. He heard the door close and started wailing. I waited a few minutes and finally came back in. He quieted as soon as I picked him up. I cuddled him for a few minutes and reassured him that I would come back, that I was only going out for a while, that I love him and will always always come back. Etc. Then we put on a video and all sat down to watch. Damian was giggling at the Monster in the Mirror song when I left. And was fine the rest of the evening, I gather. He just needed for me to say goodbye. He needed to know I wasn't abandoning him.

At Mommy and Me last week, one of the moms started playing "Ashes ashes we all fall down" while we were waiting for the official playtime. So we joined in. I was surprised to see Damian get it immediately. So I played it with him again tonight and again he spun and sat on cue. He doesn't like to hold hands and go in a circle, though -- he prefers to just spin in place. But I can't bow out. I tried, and he came and took my hand till I spun in place alongside him. I got very very dizzy.

Wednesday 13 September

A major milestone today: Damian nursed just once only, just to fall asleep tonight. I'm still in shock.

This morning he woke up chattering, quoting from books. I smiled, said "good morning!" and immediately gave him some juice to drink. After he drank it, I held him. I sat on the bed, leaning back against the footboard, and cuddled with him for several minutes. Rubbing his back and murmuring occasionally. And when he'd had enough of that, he slid out of my arms onto his back. I put my hand on his foot -- he immediately lifted his feet in the air, saying "up up up" and then put his feet back down: "and over the top." (from In The Night Kitchen.) Then he slid down off the bed and trotted off to start his day. No nursing needed. We had cuddle time, he had juice, he was content.

And he never once got the Boppy for me at any time during the day. He never asked for it, not even when he was tired and cross and ready for a nap. I played music and rocked him and that was enough.


Thursday 14 September

Damian's into his two year old shoe phase, just as one of the books suggested. He brings his shoes or sandals over, wants them put on whether or not he wants to go out, and when we come back home, he sometimes gets postively indignant at the notion that I would dare to remove them from his feet. He loves shuffling around in our shoes, of course, but he also invents new "shoes" all the time. He slides around on books, he put his feet into stacking boxes a couple of days ago and pushed around in those. Tonight he chose inventively mismatched footwear, but I'm drawing a blank on exactly what. If it comes back to me, I'll edit this paragraph...

Free associating at dinner: staring up at the ceiling light, "into the light" (of the night kitchen), "high up like a diamond in the sky" (twinkle twinkle little star) "so big." (a song on the Baby Songs video). A pastiche of quotations. Also, out of nowhere, "I loving books." And oh how he does.

Friday 15 September

When he has a meltdown over something incredibly inconsequential, it means he's ready for a nap. Today we had a difference of opinion about whether he could bring his toy lawnmower on our walk. For the second time. Since this involves him pushing it for five minutes and me carrying it for the other forty five, I said no. He could push the popper (lightweight, easy to carry) or the trike-with-handle (I can push it easily). But he insisted on the lawnmower. I felt like an arbitrary disciplinarian for denying his wish, but I'm so sick of carrying that thing around the block. I ended up bringing him inside and rocking him to sleep. He knows I love him. He was fine after his nap. But ugh, I do hate the meltdowns.

As he got out of the bath tonight, Damian said "Mommy go to bed" and "Damian go down" and "Damian nurse down" (nurse down to sleep). Commentary on what was about to occur. A big chunk of non-quoting talk all at once. Unusual for him.

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